Parents' Guide to

In the Earth

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Pandemic-filmed movie is strange, bloody, and interesting.

Movie R 2021 107 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Is It Any Good?

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More unsettling weirdness from director Ben Wheatley, this sci-fi/horror film is both enigmatic and brutally relevant. Filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it digs furiously into its consequences. But In the Earth can be as frustrating as it is fascinating. It's a little short on conveying certain information, and it's not exactly a movie about characters you can love. Still, it cuts deeply into nightmarish territory that's both alien and sadly familiar, and it broaches topical themes without being preachy or intellectual. Wheatley -- perhaps best known for his cult hit Kill List (2011) -- shot the movie in just 15 days, mostly outdoors (or with characters wearing masks on-screen), in a way that feels innovative without drawing attention to itself.

This extends to the characters. One lies about having exercised while in lockdown and is quite weak when asked to physically exert himself, while another apologies for her awkwardness, not having spoken to another human in months. The monster mythology created for the story doesn't go very far, and it could actually be something of a stand-in for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, themes of nature vs. technology are also here -- and still relevant. In the end, the shocks and gore tend to outweigh whatever else Wheatley was trying for, but In the Earth is still impressive enough to make it worth a look for brave viewers.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 16, 2021
  • On DVD or streaming: April 22, 2021
  • Cast: Joel Fry, Ellora Torchia, Reece Shearsmith
  • Director: Ben Wheatley
  • Studio: Neon
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 107 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong violent content, grisly images, and language
  • Last updated: October 8, 2022

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